Weather conditions: It has been a beautiful day in the city, with temperatures in the 70s and clear and sunny skies. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid to high 50s by kickoff. There are light winds. Weather shouldn't be a big factor.
A feel for Bank of America Stadium: This is where the Panthers have played their games since they entered the NFL in 1995 (capacity: 73,778). The stadium is downtown, creating a nice set-up where fans can take public transportation or simply walk to the game. There are three levels of seating in the fully-enclosed stadium and most of the seats are “Panther blue”, which is a lighter shade of the color. There is a section of seats on the second level of each side, stretching from end zone to end zone, that are silver. Because the Panthers are one of the youngest teams in the NFL, there have only been three inductees into their Hall of Honor -- former team president Mike McCormack, linebacker Sam Mills, and the team’s personal seat license owners for making the team a reality.
NFL logo at midfield: One of the most distinguishable parts about Bank of America Stadium is the presence of the NFL shield at midfield instead of the Panthers logo. Owner Jerry Richardson, a former player, makes a statement by doing so about the greater good of the NFL. The end zones are painted black with a blue “Carolina” printed in one end zone and a blue “Panthers” printed in the other.
Blackout tonight in Charlotte: The Panthers have asked all of their fans to wear black tonight. The team is wearing black jerseys as well.
Fan-friendly scene outside stadium: This seems to be an extremely fan-friendly environment as fans have been circling the stadium all day, with plenty to do in the area. We have been struck by a heavy Patriots presence throughout the downtown. One can certainly feel the buzz in the air.
Blakeman gets the call: Clete Blakeman is assigned to referee tonight’s game. This is his first Patriots regular-season game of the season.
Stat of the day: The Patriots have forced at least one turnover in 36 straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL.